How do Telstra’s new roaming options stack up for frequent flyers?
Some plans now come bundled with data for use overseas.
This week Telstra launched a revamp of its mobile plans, increasing data allowances and introducing a new "Peace of Mind" option that lets you stay connected at a lower speed after you've used up your monthly data allowance. We've done a detailed analysis of how those plans compare to those from Telstra's key rivals, Optus and Vodafone.
As part of the revamp, Telstra has also tweaked its global roaming options. On some of its pricier contract plans, you'll receive an allowance of roaming data which you can use when travelling overseas. On the $89 Large BYO plan and the $129 X-Large phone plan, that allowance is 2GB. On the $199 Ultimate plan, you get 10GB of data.
Vodafone's $5 a day roaming, which lets you keep your existing allowance and number, remains the benchmark for Australian telcos. Telstra and Optus have similar offers, but charge $10 a day.
For short-haul overseas trips, 2GB of data might be adequate, provided you made as much use of hotel and airport Wi-Fi as possible. 10GB would be fine for most travellers, unless you're planning to binge on YouTube while on the road. Bear in mind though that to score that, you'll be spending $199 a month. Combining a cheaper Australian plan with different roaming offers is likely to be more cost-effective.
If you're travelling for more than a week, chances are you'll chew through all that data anyway. At that point, acquiring a local prepaid SIM is always going to be cheaper. While you won't be able to receive voice calls to your Australian number if you go that route, for most travellers it's an effective option, and it's almost always the one I choose when I head out of Australia.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.